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Smartphone Usage Amongst Children

Research Planning for a Project

Research Paper (postgraduate) 2017 10 Pages

Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Project Background and Timeline

Real World Problem

Stakeholders

Past Research

Model / Framework / Concepts

Research Problem & Research Question(s)

Methods & Data

Research Objectives

Project Resources/ References & Costs

References

Project Background and Timeline

Smartphones (touch screen mobiles which provide internet access via cellular networks and/or Wi-Fi with the in-built capability for installation of unlimited applications such as online games, social media platforms i.e. Facebook, Snapchat etc. in addition to other basic functions like digital cameras, sound recorder, music player, and GPS-based navigation) are becoming increasingly popular and almost essential in our daily life. Smartphones’ behavioral addiction amongst children has been growing since smart phones’ technological evolution, educational application and high accessibility. GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) surveys for International comparison about children’s use of mobile phones for year 2012 and year 2015 indicate on average, 66 per cent of children use a mobile phone and 11 years is the most common age for children to receive their first mobile phone. (5)

In the planning stage of this research when constraints, assumptions and uncertainties are not well known, about three (3) months’ time has been anticipated to carry out a systematic primary research (questionnaire, face-to-face and online surveys) in the Australian environment. This research will mainly involve teenagers, parents and school teachers of selected sample ten (10) primary and secondary schools (public & private,). Initial aim is to compare research results with the existed secondary data to draw some conclusions minimizing smartphone’s addiction effects considering all relevant influencing factors and interdependencies. It will capture parental control, adolescents’ education and smartphones’ usage limits w.r.t their age, teachers’ additional duties and academic program(s) about safe mobile usage and security.

Real World Problem

Accessibility of smartphones in teenagers has been increasing significantly in recent time and it will be kept snow-balling in future due to social’s digital trends, dropping prices, educational and emotional mobile’s applications, online presence through social networking and of course personal communication. Needs are now transformed into behavioural addiction in which teens sometimes become so absorbed that they are unaware of their surroundings and thinking themselves incomplete without smartphones.

Further, earlier studies and related researches has revealed about smartphone addiction/ technological addiction causing decline in physical exercise leading towards mental fretfulness and physical stunted growth. Mentally, smartphone addicted teens are deprived of the ability to sympathize, communication and coordinate with others and become aggressive which make them difficult to make friends. This addicted relationship between smartphone and the teens due to growing proliferation of digital media implies some adverse risks of cyberbullying, unpredicted actions and violence. Moreover, longer screen time may associate with obesity, sleeping disorder, anxiety, depression and poor health condition due to high microwave radiation exposure in teens causing non-substance-related disorder which includes compulsive un-socializing behavior, lack of tolerance, cognitive distraction and functional impairment. (1)

Parents and teachers on other hand, started feeling insecure with teens’ increasing addiction of smartphone and scattering social networking particular when identity of virtual users is hidden and unknown. Adults consider it unnecessary screen time and problematic smartphone usage in youth. Lack of monitoring and control over children’s smartphone access further exacerbating parents/ teachers’ situation particular related to teens’ interest in viewing inappropriate content on their smartphone (alone & in group) and unsolicited contact from strangers destroying their peace-of-mind. Collectively, this non-chemical behavioral addictions increasing stresses in life.

Stakeholders

Following influencing stakeholders are identified contributing to existing problems which by applying holistic solutions and appropriate recommendations can be benefited:

- Children and teenagers: to start familiarizing with existing problems and anticipated risks associate with smartphones ‘addiction
- Parents/ guardians: to observe and maintain solid parental control over the duration and frequency of smartphones’ safe and secure usage
- School teachers: to notice and educate their students (at all ages) about the adversarial impacts of unsafe operations of smartphones
- Government legislature and executives: to think about introducing new legislations and laws about smartphones’ access amongst children
- Regulatory authorities: to maintain safe and secure internet for all the receivers especially, in public places where free Wi-Fi is accessible
- Internet service providers: to recognize and control over inappropriate contents for teens and preserve tight security about explicit materials
- Smartphones’ developers and manufacturers: to introduce new safety features and more wider parental control in their future products
- Smartphone application designers and programmers: to develop such interactive games which also involve physical activities of players
- Education department: to create at least one compulsory subject for children’ safe and restricted use of smartphones towards a better life
- Mobiles shopkeepers and internet cafe operators: to obey rules and regulation by avoiding selling and uploading x-rated material to teens
- Schools’ management: to conduct safe use of smart phone campaign(s) by engaging children and parents to seek feedbacks and ideas
- Researchers and scholars: to identify better educational methods for children by carrying out more research, analyzing and reviewing data
- Society: to work together with the law enforcement agencies by cooperating to report any cyberbullying with children and mobile misuse

Past Research

- Cheol Park and Ye Rang Park (2014) as part of their study examining the antecedents and consequences of children's smart phone addiction, carried out literature reviews of different variables and developed a Conceptual Model on Smart Phone Addiction among Early Childhood. (1)
- M.M Khan (2008) investigated in his research about adverse effects of extreme mobile phone use and suggested that excessive mobile use should be avoided and social awareness of the potential health effects must be increased (2)
- J Behav Addict (2015) studied the predictors in a European sample of about 1,600 students from 127 Swiss vocational schools and analyzed different indicators of smartphone use, demographics, and health behavior-related variables (3)
- Sophie Domingues-Montanari (2017) has identified common problems associated with clinical and psychological effects of excessive screen time on children. Under this research she also offered recommendations to parents and clinicians to limit screen time during mealtimes; important to promote a time for families to spend together and to encourage healthy eating behaviors. (4)
- GSMA and the Mobile Society Research Institute carried out extensive surveys (9,000 pairs) and provided international comparison in years 2012 and 2015 elaborating a detailed comparison of children’s mobile phone and internet usage in eight (8) countries India, Japan, Philippine, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Chile and Honduras.(5)

Model / Framework / Concepts

To identify relation between different variables of this project problem and to explore ways to reach at some appropriate solution(s) in regard to smartphones’ addiction amongst teen, an existed research model will be used which was proposed by Cheol Park and Ye Rang Park in year 2014.

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Most of the known variables in this project problem is like what was identified by Cheol Park and Ye Rang Park to look at consequences that smart phones’ addiction has on children's mental as well as physical development. They concluded that when parents' education/income/age are higher, dual-income family, the longer parents themselves use smart phones, permissive parenting style, and positive attitudes towards smart phone, children tend to have higher possibility to be addicted to smart phones.

Related to child variables, younger children, boys, children with less siblings, and not attending education institution, predict smart phone addiction. (1)

In parallel, Cause & Effect Diagram/ Fish-bone technique will be utilized to identify the root cause of problems and carefully combine it with this research results for workable solutions.

Research Problem & Research Question(s)

From the given project background, information about real world problem, list of identified stakeholders, identified relevant past researches, applied research framework/model/concept and techniques following research questions can be instigated to solve project related problems:

- What are the parents’ best practices and approaches to control and maintain a safe and secure smartphone access for their children?
- Are teenagers are only responsible for their smartphones’ addictions and watching inappropriate content?
- What are the constructive measures to improve mobile phone usage amongst teens?
- What are the key factors influencing teens for continuous mobile usage on longer duration?
- How Government law making power can positively influence towards restricted mobile operations amongst teens with respect to their age groups in near future?
- What is the extent of schools’ responsibility to ensure safe usage of mobile within their campus?
- How to educate and encourage teens about safe smartphones usage?
- Will mobile manufacturers innovate new smartphones for children meeting their mental needs?
- Why are we underestimating the adverse effects of long screen timing in our youngsters?
- Do teens need our help to form a balance between technology and social life?

Methods & Data

Both qualitative and quantitate analyses will be used to solve the project problem. I will use vilfredo pareto chart, scattered diagram, Ishikawa diagram and selected research model/ framework to investigate the interrelated dependencies of key variables. I will also statistically analyze collected data as per well formulated questionnaires following the progressive elaboration.

I am considering utilizing more types of data collection techniques like online questionnaires, face-to-face meetings and social media surveys. Different questionnaires will be developed based on group characteristics (age, size, education, professions, etc.) wide spread within urban and rural areas for strong representation of economic cross section of Australia. Uniform themed questionnaires will be presented to children/teens, parents/guardians and teachers/ tutors allowing for direct comparisons between the key factors such as type of personal mobile phone, frequency and duration of smartphones usage, usage pattern on average day, usage during weekend and weekdays, average application downloads per month, difference of mobile usage (e-mails, text, digital camera, YouTube, Facebook etc., personal sleeping time, dietary selection, nature of parents jobs, working hours, any parental control, major worry associated with smartphones, teachers’ understating about this problem and schools’ adopted precautionary measures etc. To obtain a consensus, I will use systematic, interactive and structured communication method called Delphi technique for independent and expert judgment.

Research Objectives

This project will provide me an opportunity to discover the genuine variables, to prioritize those based on their impacts and then group them based on their frequency and influences on other variables. The expected major objectives of this research exercise are as follows:

- Provide answers and solutions to the identified research problems and questions as listed above
- Raise awareness about the adverse effects of smartphone in children highlighting parents’ and teachers’ responsibilities
- Gather all stakeholders on common page to understand these research questions and agree to implement solutions sequentially
- Create a master data base to be used for future research to develop suitable programs and technological innovation for minimizing mobile addiction in teens
- Secondary research may help to myth bust the controversies about excess of smartphones’’ usage causing brain tumors and cancer
- Last but not least try to understand modern techniques to develop a research plan through the provided research project canvas

Project Resources/ References & Costs

This research will require significant funds and Government cooperation allowing to interact with public and private schools’ teachers and students. Cost is not known but can be derived by using Analogous and parametric estimating techniques for cost estimation and resources calculation at this initiating and planning stages.

References

1) Park.C and Park.R, 2014,‘The Conceptual Model on Smart Phone Addiction among Early Childhood', International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 147-148
2) Khan M.M, 2008,‘Adverse Effects Of Excessive Mobile Phone Use’, International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, vol. 21(4),pp. 289-293
3) Addict Behav.J. 2015,’Smartphone use and smartphone addiction among young people in Switzerland’, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, vol. 4(4),pp. 299-307
4) Demingues-Montanari.S,2017,’Clinical and psychological effects of excessive screen time on children’, Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health, vol. 53, Issue 4, pp. 333–338
5) Children’s use of mobile phones – An international comparison 2012 and Children’s use of mobile phones – An international comparison 2015 as seen on September 11, 2017 <www.gsma.com/publicpolicy/wp-content/uploads>

Details

Pages
10
Year
2017
ISBN (Book)
9783668701892
File size
549 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v419493
Institution / College
University of Canberra – School of Management, Faculty of Business, Government & Law
Grade
75
Tags
Smartphones children Stakeholders Health Parents responsibilities Social isolation

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Title: Smartphone Usage Amongst Children